Source: California Invasive Plant Council

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Silybum marianum (blessed milk thistle)

Silybum marianum
Silybum marianum
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Silybum marianum (blessed milk thistle) is a winter annual or biennial with prickly leaves (family Asteraceae). It is widely spread throughout California in overgrazed pastures and along fencelines and other disturbed areas. Blessed milk thistle produces tall, dense stands that outcompete native species.

Cal-IPC Inventory rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources on Silybum marianum

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • Massera, J. (2001). More about Italian thistle. CalEPPC News. 9: 14.
  • Perala, C., D. A. Hoover, et al. (1993). Control of exotic plants in an herbaceous understory. CalEPPC News. 1: 4-6.

Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings

  • Archbald, G. (1998). Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Lair, K., N. Ritter, et al. (2006). Restoration of retired San Joaquin Valley farmlands using herbicides and activated charcoal. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Pitcairn, M. J. and D. M. Woods (1998). Control methods: biological control. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 1998. Ontario, CA.

Other Resources on Silybum marianum